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News Aber smokers to trial new quitting service

the way in Wales with our smoking cessation initiatives – in June, the University Health Board introduced audio systems at all four of our acute hospital sites, which enable onlookers to anonymously push a button, triggering a PA message that asks smokers to extinguish their cigarette. “We want the public to know

that help is available when you decide to give up smoking. We have a number of free options to help you quit smoking, including the iQuit pharmacy service and the iQuit+ hospital service for inpatients and outpatients – we’re here to help you, you can do it!” Evidence shows that smokers are

more likely to quit for good using a support service than by going it alone, and the telehealth service will make it easier than ever for smokers to access the service. Christian Heathcote-Elliott,

Trial run: Ends December 7 STARTING from last

Wednesday (Sept 14), smokers in Aberystwyth have been given a helping hand to quit with Wales’ first ever remote stop smoking service. Hywel Dda University Health

Board (UHB) has worked in partnership with Stop Smoking Wales and Church Practice, Aberystwyth to trial a ‘telehealth’ smoking cessation service, which aims to help local smokers kick the habit. The remote service will run from Church Practice for 14 weeks, to Wednesday, December 7. Smokers who wish to quit will

be able to attend the surgery on Wednesday mornings to speak one- to-one with an advisor through video conference technology, and undertake

a course of intensive behavioural support, equal to that received face- to-face with the added benefit of being close to home. Director of Public Health for

Hywel Dda UHB, Teresa Owen, said: “The Health Board’s Public Health team and Clinical Lead for Telehealth, Sarah Hicks, have worked with Stop Smoking Wales to develop this pilot in Aberystwyth with the hope that in the future it could be extended throughout rural areas in Wales. “The opportunity for this

approach was identified as part of the Mid Wales Health Care Collaborative, so to be launching this important trial is a huge boost to the project and I will be updating project members on the progress of this work. “We’re very proud to be leading

Principal Public Health Practitioner for tobacco control at Public Health Wales, added: “Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do to benefit your Health. The new telehealth service offers free, professional and convenient support to anyone wishing to give up smoking in the Aberystwyth area. “Stop smoking services in

Ceredigion, like other services in rural areas, face challenges to ensure delivery is effective, accessible and equitable. It’s important for Stop Smoking Wales to offer an option flexible enough to meet the needs of the community and improve access for smokers who are motivated to quit.” The service, delivered through

video conferencing, is believed to be as effective as services that are offered in person. The support is managed by experienced stop smoking advisors, with a track record of helping smokers in the Ceredigion area to quit smoking.


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What shall we do with the drunken sailor?


Engineer appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Sept 14) for two driving offences. His Duty Solicitor told the court that the incident was a ‘blip’ on the defendant’s record and he is well respected in his professional field. Keiran Larkin, 20, of Llwyncelyn

in Ceredigion, pleaded guilty to both offences which occurred on August 29 at Glan Y Mor in Aberaeron when he failed to stop after a road accident and exceeded the alcohol limit while driving. Prosecutor Helen Tench told

the court that at 2.30am on the day in question, police received a call regarding a traffic collision in Aberaeron. The complainant woke up to a noise on the road and saw three males who appeared drunk. His neighbour also reported the incident. The complainant had damage

caused to his Mercedes Campervan and the defendant’s parents were notified of the collision. Ms Tench added that the police

later located the defendant’s VW Golf vehicle at his home, as they discovered that the defendant’s father took the vehicle back home. When the police found Larkin,

they took him to the police station and conducted a breathalyser test, which showed positive results of 48mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. Ms Tench concluded by telling

the court that during his interview, Larkin confirmed that he was the driver but could not remember the time in between picking up his friends and the incident. Defending, Janem Jones said

that Larkin stands before the court remorseful and of absolute clean character. Ms Jones added that Larkin’s

behaviour was completely out of character at the time of the incident and when asked by police why he did not stop after the collision, he explained that he panicked when his vehicle went into the back of a vehicle, which in turn caused damage to the complaint’s vehicle. Ms Jones concluded by telling

the court that Larkin has since learned his lesson. Magistrates told the defendant

that he has a wonderful career ahead of him and that they hope that he can learn from this incident. In addition to a 14 month

driving disqualification, magistrates ordered Larkin to pay a total of £635 of fines and court costs for both offences.

Drugs and driving not so clever A DEFENCE solicitor told Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Sept 14) that his client was ‘a person of great ability, both academically and professionally’. Alexander Eberhard-Bellanger,

he had 38mg of cocaine in his blood and 200mg of Benzoylecgonine, exceeding the prescribed limit. Defending, Janem Jones told

26, of Tal y Bont in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to three offences of driving while exceeding the specified drug limit. The court heard that the defendant

had previously received a 12 month driving disqualification on August 10 for driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

Prosecutor, Helen Tench, told

the court that on the day in question, an officer on duty passed a wooded area and, upon coming across the defendant’s VW Golf car, smelled a strong scent of cannabis. The officer followed the car but

lost sight of it, then called for back- up. The other officers then located the defendant’s vehicle. When speaking to the defendant, he showed signs of drug use but when they questioned him, Bellanger said that the person he had just dropped off had taken drugs. Ms Tench then said that the

officers conducted a search at the scene and were unsuccessful but when they tested the defendant, the results were positive. Bellanger was taken to the police

station and was asked to provide a sample of blood. Ms Tench concluded by telling the court that the results showed that

the court that, from 2016 onwards, there is an extremely bad patch on the defendant’s record. Ms Jones also added that the defendant works part -time for a recycling company. Probation Officer Julian Davies

addressed the court about the community order imposed on the defendant in August for a similar offence and for which Bellanger had been fined and banned from driving. Mr Davies explained that the

defendant was given a 12 month community order, which included 15 rehabilitation activity days and that he had attended all appointments to date. Mr Davies further added that the

defendant is considered to be a low to medium risk of re-offending and a low risk of harm. Magistrates told the defendant

that the offences were serious and that he put others in danger along with himself.

Bellanger was given an additional

12 month community order to run concurrently with his existing one. The new community order will have the requirements of 15 additional rehabilitation activity days and 16 hours of unpaid work. In addition, magistrates imposed

a £170 financial penalty on the defendant as well as a 24 month driving disqualification.

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